I just drove up to pick up one of my boys from camp. It's amazing what seven weeks can do. He looks older, taller, more mature, a little hairier. He carries himself with a bit more confidence. More sure of himself. Less withdrawn and very chatty. Happy to share stories of camp and his friends with me. He cursed a bit more. I let it go.
He is segueing into young adulthood; starting high school. I want him to be able to talk to me, open up. I don't want to criticize or judge him. I want him to be able to talk to me so I let the curses fly, pretending it's no big deal. I have to pick and choose my battles...hair style and clothing--his choice. Body piercings and tattoos -- it's where I draw the line; where I'll go to bat. He's going on 15...it's a big age. Important things are happening. He might begin experimenting with alcohol, maybe pot, girls definitely. I want him to be able to come to me...ask me things...consider my input.
I can feel us transitioning into a new kind of relationship, one a little less strictly father/son and more one of mutual respect...slightly more equal footing. It's good. It feels right.
In four days his twin brother comes home...I hope I can repeat the same with him.